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SAY ANYTHING

Reviewed by Herb Levy

SAY ANYTHING (North Star Games, 3 to 8 players, ages 13 and up, about 35 minutes; $24.99)

 

   Ever since Trivial Pursuit exploded onto the scene, people have been convinced that a great adult party game will earn them millions. The potential is there, sure, and people have risen to that challenge. But the real challenge is to come up with something different. With Say Anything, the new game by Dominic Crapuchettes and Satish Pillalamarri, a twist has been added to make this game a game worth noticing.sayanythingbox

Say Anything comes with 80 question cards (holding a total of 400 questions), 8 dry erase boards and pens, one “Select-O-Matic 5000”, 16 player tokens, a dry erase scoreboard and very simple rules.

   Each player gets a dry erase pen, answer board and two player color coded tokens. One player gets the Select-O-Matic 5000 (which, despite the “grand” name is simply a circular piece of cardboard with a pointer) and it is that player’s turn.

Each question card holds 5 questions. The active player draws a card and chooses any one of the questions to read. The questions generally fall into pop culture, social behavior categories. Now ALL the other players write down their answer on the answer board and places it face up on the table. The active player chooses ONE of these answers and indicates it on the Select-O-Matic 5000, placing it face down on the table. Now comes the twist.

Rather than just having the active player judge the “correct” or “best” answer (a technique used by Apples to Apples [last featured in the Summer 2004 GA REPORT]), everyone gets into the act by using their 2 player tokens. Each of these tokens are placed on an answer, either together or split between two. Once all tokens have been placed, the active player reveals his choice and players score. sayanthingcard

The active player gets 1 point for each token placed on the answer he has chosen. The player who wrote the chosen answer gets 1 point. The other players get 1 point for each of their tokens placed on the chosen answer. Points are tracked on the scoreboard. (No matter how many tokens on placed on the correct answer, in no case may anyone score more than 3 points on a turn.) Once points are tallied, the Select-O-Matic 5000 is passed to the left and we do it all over again.

Length of the game varies. With 3 to 4 players, the game concludes after everyone has read three questions. Should more players participate, each take fewer turn so that with 7 or 8 players, the game ends when everyone has read just one question. Once this endpoint is reached, scoreboard totals are tallied. The player with the most points earns the victory.

Presentation of the game is good. The dry erase markers work, the answer boards are large enough so that everyone can see the answers written (with or without glasses). The grandiose name of Select-O-Matic 5000 makes you think that some computerized device will spit out the correct answer to the question. And that’s part of the joke. This is strictly low-tech, a cardboard disk with a plastic pointer. The only spitting you’ll find is when players sputter in their attempts to argue, cajole and misdirect others. (And this is a scoring opportunity missed. It might have been a good idea to give points to players whose answer is picked by others even if NOT the “chosen” answer. That’s not in the rules but it could certainly be an added variant if so desired.)

Success in Say Anything depends a lot on how well you know the people you play with. Change the group and the results could very well change too. Say what you want but Say Anything is a a party game that should hit the table again and again. – – – – – – – Herb Levy


 

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